From Brooklyn to the Bronx, New York is the birthplace of hip hop, the birthplace of some of the greatest, most influential rappers of all time. While the debate over who is the greatest rapper of all time is as old as the rap game, here’s our list of the top 10 rappers from NYC’s five boroughs.
Anti-hero, idiosyncratic, and The Greatest of All Time. Game recognition game. And when your name shows up on 99.99% of the greatest rappers list, you could be the greatest.
No matter how much time passes, there’s no doubt that Notorious BIG will remain one of the solid pillars of the genre and culture. At 24 years old, and with just two studio albums, Christopher Wallace has a clear “it” element – that certain things today might be called a “swag” or may have earned him a status. privileged position among the living symbols. In death, however, his iconic status lingers. And in hip hop, where there is mutual respect between MCs but always competition, most rappers can agree that Biggie has left an indelible mark on them as artists. and human.
Listening Needed: Ready to Die – “Respect”
The undisputed king of New York and the embodiment and embodiment of the American dream of riches. From Marcy’s Bed-Stuy project to one of the most influential, let alone musicians in the world, Jay Z’s importance is unquestionable. His music sales alone have reached $100 million, and his other successful business endeavors have made him a Forbes-level rich. His polarizing relationship with pop star Beyoncé has only further cemented his firm hold on the crown. But really, what puts him at the top of this list is his lyrics. His uncanny ability to string together clever conjugations with dual meanings, moves within his own words and stops, all while bridging the odd conspiracies to another world.
Essential Listening: Blueprint – “Innovation”.
Storyteller, sage, oracle. The cunning, easy tactic with which Nas was able to tell a story and report the situation, made the “next Rakim” hailed and prolific in his own right; he is one of the best MC ever. His distinctive stylistic method of delivery – clever but effortless – clearly comes from his upbringing in free jazz as the son of musician Olu Dara, and is a reflection of the Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn. Fluent and highly literate without pressure, his debut album, Illmatic, will forever hold every MC to a higher standard.
Listening Needed: It Was Written – “Message”
Top 10 New York hotels
Quite well known as one of the most influential American contemporary artists to come from Harlem. His original nickname, MC New York, was sure to change the outcome of the circumstances that led to his murder in 1996, in a bitter feud between hip-hop rivals. Tupac began his art in theatrical plays; He was accepted into the Baltimore School of the Arts as a teenager following phenomenal success at the Harlem theatre. He was also raised by the radical political views of his mother, who was a key figure in the Black Panther organization of the 1970s. Tragedy is often the most important stories, and his is one. in extreme enduring love with absolute tragedy.
Essential Listening: All Eyez on Me – “All Eyez on Me”.
Mos Def is the king of backpacking, underground indie-rap music. He, along with co-pilot Talib Kweli, forced the music industry to coin the term “conscious” to describe a new wave of hip hop exploding through suburban skate parks and lounges. dormitories across the US From Brooklyn has become a new hope and a style that can organize itself in the block or in the classroom. Mos Def broke away from the violent, dollar-signal tunes of its contemporaries and brought in something new, stylish, smart, and genre-defying.
Essential Listening: Black on Both Sides – “Mathematics”
Imagine a world where South Jamaica Queens’ own 50 Cent doesn’t show movies, TV, boxing ads, and Vitamin Water flavorings. The reason he’s been noticed and endorsed by Eminem isn’t his mainstream media potential; it was his ability to write devastating prose and his fang-like smile. His obvious commercial success aside, going back to the underground mixtape from the early 2000s, you can hear the desperation and attitude of like or dislike that sets him apart. The more you delve into his history, the more you can see that his debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, is a carefully crafted spell.
Essential Listening: Get Rich or Die Tryin’ – “Life on the Road”
There’s a reason you can find this prolific MC at the top of every Great Hip Hop list. Whether solo or with Eric B, Rakim is the originator of hip-hop in NYC. Rakim’s rhyme deviates from the simple rhymes of early 1980s hip hop. His free-rhythmic style omits bar lines and forever changes the rules of rap style, and 1987’s Paid In Full was one of the first rap albums to receive commercial success. Rakim’s more laid-back and bubbly style, a track for the times, would set off a trend that still resonates today.
Essential Listening: The Master – “When I Be On Mic”
Duo Mobb Deep from Queens. Combining sensual rhythms and cinematic melodies that reveal the dark side of the New York urban landscape, Prodigy is the gritty voice of the Queensbridge projects. His rhymes are unequivocally bleak, when comparing the projects to the front lines of war, calling themselves “a blend of vodka and milk.” Another groundbreaking movement with lyrics boasting to the top of the hip-hop chart, Prodigy and his partner Havoc, revel in the realism of the world around them.
Necessary Listening: Disgrace – “Survival of the Healthiest”
The method man
From Staten Island’s Park Hill Project, he is often referred to as “Killa Hill”. Sometimes overshadowed by his polarizing charisma, Method Man’s unique lyrical talent gave birth to the Shaolin star. The only rapper to feature on Biggie Small’s debut album, Ready to Die, he has gone from the Statue of Liberty gift shop to many Hollywood endeavors. The roots of his rise to prominence as a key figure of the Wu-Tang Clan and his explosive collaboration with Redman have made him an independent MC.
Essential Listening: Tical – “Bringing Pain”
Dubbed the “Genius,” blending scientific theory with a melancholic East Coast pulse, GZA hails from Brooklyn, though he is best known for his role as the birth of the Wu-Tang Clan on Staten Island . He is known as the “spiritual head” of the group, being both the oldest and the first in the group to receive a recording contract.
He also showed some acting skills, making hilarious appearances on The Chappelle Show and with his cousin RZA in Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes, opposite Bill Murray. He has also brought his scientific mind to the classroom, participating in an MIT workshop on “a growing culture of science engagement.” In 2013, he led a New York City-wide public school program that combined science education with hip hop.
Essential Listening: Liquid Swords – “Room 4”